Healthy Yards

In recent years, we’ve come to realize that traditional landscaping is not environmentally friendly.

We now know our yards must do more than look beautiful. They must also perform ecological functions. They must restore plant, bird and insect diversity. They must build and sustain microorganisms and nutrients in the soil. They must be free of chemical fertilizers and insecticides that pollute our soil and water, kill wildlife, and even endanger the health of our pets, our children, and ourselves. This understanding has big implications for our long-held beliefs about landscaping.

Traditional v. Healthy Landscaping

Traditional landscaping, which consists of lawn and ornamental plants imported from other countries and relies on pesticides, is dangerous to insects, wildlife and humans. This has long-term implications for our ecosystem.

Healthy landscaping, which is maintained with organic and natural fertilizers and native plants, restores diversity and ecological good health. Creating a healthy yard can seem daunting, but we have pulled together the following resources to help make understanding your yard and the solutions easier.

Do you have a healthy yard?

8 steps to a toxic free lawn

Organic Lawn 101

Read Your Weeds: A simple guide to creating a healthy lawn

Good News: You can join the restoration revolution with a Healthy Yard!

By making a few changes to your landscaping practices, you can help restore ecological health to our local, shared environment.

Steps to a Healthy Yard

Eliminate Pesticides Transition from dangerous toxic contaminates to organic or natural treatments.

Landscape with Native Plants Plant flower and plant species that are best for the sun, soil and water conditions in our area and that can best support our pollinator population.

Remove Invasive Species Not native to our area, invasive plants crowd out beneficial plants, reducing diversity and destroying wildlife. Removing them—or, at least, controlling their worst effects—is essential to restoring the health of our landscape.

Mow Grass Less By letting grass grow longer, the roots become stronger and go deeper, making your lawn less vulnerable to pests and invasive diseases and plants. This Spring ask your landscaper to mow your lawn every other week instead of every week or even skip the month of May to help strengthen your grass for the season.

Eliminate Use of Gas-Powered Leaf Blowers By kicking organic debris, fungus, and animal excrement into the air, leaf blowers increase respiratory diseases in residents and workers. Instead, by letting spring blossoms and other yard debris naturally decompose in your yard, you’ll add nutrients to the soil, improve its structure so roots can grow deep, and reduce the climate-changing pollution associated with gas-powered yard care equipment and transporting debris off-site.

Mulch some or all your leaves Use mulch to help retain moisture and add nutrients to your garden beds. It doesn't have to look messy if you have it done properly!